Posted in Death, Spiritual Direction

Oh Death

Borrowing from a popular song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydrtF45-y-g) :

Let’s talk about death baby

Let’s talk about you and me

Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be

Let’s talk about death…..

As it has been said, there are two things that are certain in the human experience: change and death.  We have spoken at length about change, but we haven’t spent much time on the topic of death.  Death is certain and every day of our lives is a slow (or quick) march toward that death.  We cannot avoid it – our own death or the death of those we love and care about.  While death is certain, and could simply be viewed as an ordinary part of our human experience, it is also our greatest fear.

As we fear and resist change, so too do we resist and fear death. It may not be death specifically that we fear, but the inability to control, when, how and with how much pain (physical or otherwise) we experience death.  We also fear that which comes after death – if anything.  And perhaps more than the “if anything” we fear the possibility that this life might be all there is….that there is nothing waiting for us on the other side of death.  From a rational, objective, scientific perspective, we have no way to prove what there may or may not be after death.  What it there’s nothing!?

 

Every religious institution has its own beliefs about death and what comes thereafter. Some suggest that this life is all there is.  Others preach the ever-evolving wheel of karma and that we return to this life over and over and over until we have worked off that karma so as to earn enlightenment or nirvana.  Some suggest the purpose of the human journey is to grow spiritually and that we return until our eternal Soul has completed its growth.  Others suggest a place of eternal damnation.  Others suggest a place of eternal reward.  Some used to suggest there were places in between (limbo or purgatory), but both of these seem to have been eliminated in favor of heaven or hell.  Others believe in a hierarchical afterlife where only the very special chosen ones will receive the fullness of the heavenly reward.  The beliefs that human beings have developed around the idea of death are endless.  No matter which of these is true, we have no control over when death will come for us or how that death will happen (unless it is by our own hand)…..and this scares the hell out of most people.

Until it does not. In the Christian tradition, we are told that Jesus came so as to conquer death…..:

“Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?  No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  John 3: 11-17

God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,  and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 2 Timothy 1: 9-10

 

…but what was the death that Jesus conquered? Jesus did die…(at least that’s what scripture and Christian doctrine tell us).  If Jesus brought eternal life, it is not an eternal life on this human plane.  Christianity then goes on to tells us that in his death Jesus guaranteed eternal life for “all who believe in him.”  But what about the rest of the world?  Are only Christians saved?  I very much doubt it. I personally believe we are all saved, but not in the way that has anything to do with a heavenly reward, or lack thereof.  Instead, it is not physical death and the “what comes after” that Jesus saves us from.  Instead, Jesus came to save us from that which prevents us from LIVING while we are right here, trying to get through this thing called life (Cue Prince).  Ironically, the way we make it through this human experience is to face down and move through this which we fear the most – namely death.

 

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Shamanic support for endings in your life.
Posted in Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Counseling New Year’s Special (Save up to $400.00!!!!!)

Welcome to the New Year!  In celebration of the new life that is waiting for all of us in the coming year, I am offering you a special gift.  Please enjoy as my New Year’s gift to you DEEPLY DISCOUNTED rates on Spiritual Counseling/One-on-One mentoring.  These discounted prices are only available now through January 8th (and can be used anytime throughout the year), so ACT NOW!

 

 

Purchase a single session at $99.00 (originally priced $150.00)

 

Buy a 3 pack for only $297.00  (a savings of over $150.00)

Save even more and purchase a 6 pack for only $499.00 (a savings of over $400.00!!!)

Offer only good through January 8, 2019!  Buy the package now and use your sessions anytime between January 1 – December 31, 2019. No refunds or exchanges on package offers.

Once payment is received, I will send you an email to schedule your sessions.  Sessions will be held over the phone or via ZOOM.

 

I look forward to supporting your spiritual development needs and your desire to choose love in the coming year!

 

Love,

Lauri

 

 

Posted in Spiritual Direction

Love Waiting to Be Found

This past weekend, I had an interesting experience.  A man I know to be one of the kindest, most generous, faithful and humble human beings, posted a horribly negative comment against our incoming government officials who are of the Muslim faith.  I joined my daughter in righteous anger over his comments.  How could someone who claims to be a devout Christian, and otherwise a good, kind and generous man believe such horrible things of our Muslim brothers and sisters?  I was angry, but beyond the anger, I felt horribly sad.  How could this man, for whom I otherwise have the utmost respect, believe that his hatred and fear of Muslims is any way shape or form consistent with Jesus’ teachings?  I wanted to step in and ask him if he had read the story of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37) – a story Jesus used to teach us that often the kindest and most “Godly” acts are performed by those who are not of our “tribe” or “belief system.” I also wanted to quote the story of the Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:24-30)  who was instrumental in converting Jesus of his own beliefs – who through her persistence and insistence convinced Jesus that he was here for the whole world – not just the tribes of Israel.  I refrained from commenting, but I still found myself troubled. So I brought this quandary to prayer.

This is when my compassion stepped in.  My friend, in his fear and hatred of Muslims is simply believing what he has been taught by the version of Christianity to which he subscribes – a version cloaked in the same fear of “the other” that he already carried in his mind.  To me, this is very sad.  And yet, this man, like every single human being walking this planet, is a vessel of Love just waiting to be found.  Quite simply, he hasn’t yet found the fullness of his Love – the Love he already is and was made to be, but which is currently hidden beneath a curtain of fear.  He freely and generously loves those who believe as he does and in his working profession, generously loves those in need of his service.  But, because he doesn’t yet know the fullness of the Love that he is and he hasn’t yet discovered the fullness of Divine love, he is not yet able to love every human being in the way that God does.  Here he is bearing out Jesus’ most profound and simplest teaching:

 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12: 30-31

This scripture has most often been interpreted as a commandment, but it could just as easily be taken as an observation of what is true.  We are only capable of loving our neighbor to the extent that we love ourselves.  Put another way, the degree to which we are able to love other human beings is proportionate to the degree to which we believe in God’s love for us, and the degree to which we are able to love ourselves as God loves us.  This is a plain and simple human truth.  My friend is unable to love his Muslim brothers and sisters because for some reason he does not yet comprehend the vast and unconditional nature of God’s love and in this, is also unable to unconditionally love himself.  He still has more love in him waiting to be found.

The same is true of all of us.  Each and every one of us is Love waiting to be found.  And each and every one of us is somewhere along the continuum of finding and then living from that love. Our actions on this human plane then reflect the degree to which we know the love that we are. 

This brings me to the topic of evil….

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Posted in Spiritual Direction

2018 Holiday Bundles

Holiday Bundles are a terrific way to get the courses you want at a discounted price.  For this holiday season, I have three bundles – one to fit all areas of interest:  Shamanic Practices, the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine.  Chose you bundle and let the transformation begin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shamanic Practices Bundle includes:

Click on the course titles above for course descriptions.  Click on the Bundle image above to register.

 

Divine Masculine Bundle includes:

Click on the course titles above for course descriptions.  Click on the Bundle image above to register.

 

Divine Feminine Bundle includes:

Resurrecting the Magdalene

and your choice of any three of the below listed courses:

Click on course titles above for course descriptions.  Click on the Bundle image above to register,.

 

 

Posted in Spiritual Direction

Conditioned by Shame

Shame is one of the forces of manipulation that we are currently unraveling from at this stage in our cultural/spiritual evolution. Specifically – the shame we have been conditioned to feel by the patriarchal/hierarchical power structures who for the past 5000 years have ruled our world.  These power structures, which are rooted in fear, power and control, have fashioned “rules” from which they benefit while the rest of us suffer.  Shame is the tool they use to get us to comply with their rules. Let me offer a few examples:

  • If you anger, disappoint or turn away from “god” you will go to hell and here are the ways you will anger and disappoint “god.”
  • If you don’t dress a certain way, carry a certain purse, if your body isn’t a certain size, people won’t love you.
  • If you don’t succeed in school, you are a failure.
  • If you didn’t learn the lesson, or if you did learn it but can’t communicate it in the way we expect you to, you will get a bad grade.
  • If you don’t pay your bills on time, you will be punished.
  • If you don’t make a certain amount of money, you are a failure.
  • If you are sick and need medical care, but don’t have money to pay for it, you are lazy.
  • If you are a working mother and can’t get to work on time because you have to take your child to work, you will be fired.
  • If you got pregnant out of wedlock, you are a whore.
  • If you are having sex outside of marriage you are also a whore.
  • If you are raped, it’s your fault.

 

The list goes on and on and on.

 

These are the threats that have been doled out to us by the existing power structures to imprison us with fear and manipulate us with shame.

 

NO MORE!

It is time for us to unravel from this shame by:

  1. Refusing its power over us.
  2. Taking back our own power.
  3. Healing the wounds that have been implanted within us by this shame so that we are less likely to be vulnerable to shame’s manipulations.

 

For further support in healing your own shame, especially if it relates to money, check out my new online “course” – part instruction, part self-reflection, part shamanic healing journey. Free yourself once and for all of the power structure’s means of keeping you in shame around money:

Click on image to learn more and register. Only $9.99!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Death, New World, Spiritual Direction, world changes

How to Survive Soul Death

The short answer to the question: “How do you survive soul death” is YOU DON’T. Soul death is what many are experiencing right now as we are facing the death of the world that we have known and the void between what we have known and what has not yet come into being.

Soul death can be recognized by:

  • Feeling as if you are weighted down
  • Life feels as if you are walking through wet cement
  • You feel heavy, depressed, unmotivated, paralyzed.
  • NOTHING seems to be happening in your outside world.
  • Inside you feel vacant and empty.
  • You feel the need to weep but you don’t know why.
  • It feels as if there is nothing to hang on to, nothing holding your attention or interest in this world.
  • You don’t want to die, but THIS doesn’t feel much like living.
  • You are SOUL WEARY. Exhausted.  Worn out.  Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
  • The spiritual practices that normally provide some measure of comfort feel empty and lifeless. They provide no relief.

Symptoms of soul death seem to be the common theme for sensitives at this point in our human evolution. The world we have known is dying (thank God) and we are in that void between what has been and what has not yet been brought forth into our lives and world.

There is no surviving soul death because death is the point. All that we have done, been, believed, been a part of in the old (patriarchal/hierarchical) world needs to come to an end.  We cannot leave the old world behind while clinging to what gave our lives meaning and purpose in that world.  Neither can we leave that world behind while clinging to the beliefs, structures, practices or habits that supported our survival in that world. It all needs to go.  It all needs to die. And that is terrifying.

Once we have allowed the death of all that has been, we enter INTO THE VOID! This is the state of complete emptiness where we know nothing and where WE ARE NOTHING.  This can be a frightening place – especially for those (like me) who seek after some measure of surety.  We long to have something to hold on to.  In the void, there is literally nothing, so there is nothing to hang on to.  Instead, our only option is to SURRENDER. Here, instead of resisting, we enter deeply into our soul death.  We allow ourselves to courageously face the darkness, the emptiness, the nothingness and to feel the deep pain of separation, knowing that this perceived separation is only an illusion for in the perceived darkness where it appears there is nothing, THERE IS EVERYTHING.  Everything that has ever come into form came into being from this place of emptiness.  In entering into the nothing we discover EVERYTHING.

Surviving soul death requires to us surrender to it….enter into it….be with and allow it. Survival comes in allowing the death and being with it every step of the way. Only then can the new life come into being.

Online course in support of those times of soul death. Click on image to learn more and register. Only $13.00!

 

Posted in Magic, Order of Melchizedek, Spiritual Direction, women

Women and Magic: Taking Back our Power

Below is an excerpt from The Order of Melchizedek training program which empowers you with knowledge and skills to support you in the truest purpose of magic – to be a vessel through which the Divine vision of Love can be made manifest both in your own life and in the world around you.  Learn more HERE.

Women and Magic:  Taking Back Our Power!

For the past 5000 years, since the warring hoards, with their jealous and wrathful gods, conquered the people of peace, all that is Holy within us has been suppressed.  This has been especially true of a unique holiness possessed by certain women and men – men and women who had heard and accepted the call to be a channel through which Divine Love was to be known in our world.  These men and women had been charged with holding and maintaining the balance and did so through their intimate connection with the Divine.  They were said to speak and lay with the “gods” and in this they came to know the fullness of Love, becoming the bearers of Love in the world.  They then brought this connection forth in the world through their gifts of healing, teaching, and prophecy. They saw the presence of the Divine in each and every thing and through this observation, guided by the Divine, learned how to heal with both the matter of the earth and the energy of the Divine.  In “speaking with the gods” and observing the movements of nature, they learned to predict nature’s events and how to harness the powers of nature – earth, air, water and flame.  They understood the workings of the human body and how to support the transition into life, maintaining wellness, and acting as guardians at the threshold into death.  With the voice of the Divine to guide them, they were able to discern truth and support the cause of justice and did so by allowing the Divine to speak and act through them. With the eyes of the Divine to guide them, they perceived the shifting of the tides – including that which heralded harmony’s destruction and the coming of their own death as a force and a power for maintaining the delicate balance of Human and Divine, Masculine and Feminine, Death and Life.

women and magic, witches, witchcraft, order of melchizedek, christian magic,

History has called these people witches. 

And for 5000 years, those who carry the fear of the warring hoards, with their jealous and wrathful gods, have tried to rid the world of those who would speak and act for the cause of Love.  For 5000 years, women and men who have been called to be a force of Divine Love in the world and who have tried to do so through their unique gifts of healing, teaching and prophecy have been sought out, chased down, hunted, and killed for daring to share their gifts.  In the West, millions upon millions have died for wanting to live the fullness of their powers of Love – the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Witch trials and burnings, Joan of Arc burned at the stake, the Holocaust, and countless wars fought “in the name of God”.  If the voice of Love wasn’t killed, it was silenced or imprisoned by laws meant to keep the power of Love from making its way forth in the world – laws or corporate policies that makes it impossible for midwives to share their gifts, herbalists fined for prescribing plants not approved by the FDA, healers condemned by their Church for “doing the work of the devil.”   For 5000 years, men and women who bear this call, who have been Divinely appointed to be a force of Divine Love through which harmony can be restored and then maintained in our world have been demonized, condemned, silenced, and in many cases, killed for “being a witch.”

The “Witch’s” Purpose is Love.

Our world is broken and it is dying and there has never been a time when it was more critical that the cause of LOVE be empowered in the world. What was true 5000 years ago is still true today – certain women and men have been uniquely called to be a force of Divine Love in the world so that the world might be restored to and maintained in its originally intended state of harmony and peace.  Those who have been called “witches” are the force through which LOVE will have its way and the world will be restored to its originally intended state of harmony and peace.

If you are one who has heard this call, who has sensed the power of the Divine within you, who has glimpsed the gifts of healing, teaching and prophecy awakening in you, you are not alone and your time is NOW.  In the company of your brothers and sisters who have already awakened and who are in the process of awakening, step forth from the chains of oppression, be freed of the guilt which has imprisoned you and your ancestors before you, walk forth into the light of your Divine call and BE THE LOVE that you were called to be so that our world can once again be free!  We need your gifts and we need them now.  The burning times are over and it is once again time for Love to be known in the world and it wants to be known through you!

order of melchizedek, Christian Magic, Catholic Magic, ritual, magic, shamanism, kabbalah,

Posted in Magic, Order of Melchizedek, Spiritual Direction

The Hidden Tradition of Christian Magic

“The Hidden Tradition of Christian Magic” from the Order of Melchizedek Training Program. Learn more HERE.

Once upon a time, I was the perfect little Catholic school girl.  Hair in pigtails.  White blouse, plaid jumper, knee highs and sensible oxfords.  Every morning I proudly walked to the corner to catch my bus with all the other good little Catholic school boys and girls.  I was proud to don my uniform.  I was proud to be among my “tribe.”  I was proud to wave the banner of righteousness with Jesus as my guide.

That’s the Lauri that the outside world perceived. But, there was another Lauri lurking under the mask of the Cath-o-lick Girl!  This was Lauri the witch.  Mrs. Hodgson saw her when I flirted with Pat Gerber instead of listening to her lecturing us about all the ways we might say God’s name in vain.  Sr. Loretta saw her when I questioned the Church’s teaching on what happened to people who were not baptized.  Mr. Pavlock saw her when I tried to dot my i’s with hearts.  Mrs. Neff saw her when instead of tending to my math lesson, I was throwing superballs and watching them ricocheting off the ceiling, floor and blackboards with the naughty boys.  And Fr. (now Bishop) Doyle saw her when I challenged his believes on his clerical privilege (he had the balls to tell us got to go to heaven before us, simply because he was a priest, and regardless of his moral character….he thought he got a free pass!)

Learn more about the Order of Melchizedek Training Program, a training in Christian Magic HERE.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I was mostly a good girl, too good in the opinion of many (I was only a little self-righteous!).  But, my true self could not help but come out sideways as I worked on being perfect so that I could earn the love and approval of my parents, my teachers, and ultimately, God.

My true self, found meaning in the mystical and the magical and while there could not have been a better place to grow up than in the Catholic Church that is all about mystery and magic – something was always missing.  While I wasn’t conscious of this at the time, I’m curious now to know if deep down I wondered why only the priests got to do the magic.  It seems rather unfair.  Only the priests got to turn the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, heal the sick, absolve sins, magically turn an ordinary child into a child of God, and exorcise demons.  What was up with that?

Thankfully, there were many things outside my Catholic experience that did speak to and reflect the magic of my Soul.  Samantha Stevens in Bewitched.  The Wicked Witch of the West.  HR Puffinstuff.  Mary Poppins and all the Disney fairy godmothers, evil queens and witches.  And Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent – the best cinema villain – only because she was sooooo misunderstood.  How would you feel if all your sisters were invited to the ball but you were not?  I’d be pissed too!

So, when I became a grown up, many books and resources crossed my path that reflected and called forth the magic within that wanted to be know – the Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, most notably.  Learning about the feminine magic of the mystical isle, set me off on a quest that has taken 26 years to complete (Saturn’s second return).  The winding and twisting path of discovering my magic took me into the exploration of Wicca, Celtic paganism, Neo-Paganism, Neo-Shamanism, the Mysteries of the Golden Dawn, Kabbalistic magic, Egyptian magic, the gods and goddesses of the Celtic and Hindu traditions, the Emerald Tablet, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, in-depth study of energy medicine, Chi Qong, Yoga, Bhakti, and the ancient and continuing tradition and practice of alchemy.  In my quest, I had devoured everything that came into my path that had to do with magic.  Oh, does Harry Potter count too?  I think it should!  Expecto Patronum!

Magic, I learned, was in my blood.  Everything I studied felt like a remembering.  But even after all this study, something still was missing.  While I appreciated all the tools I had gathered, practiced, learned and honed from all these different traditions, the Christian component was missing.  Or rather, the Jesus component.  Something deep within me said that my journey to magic would not be complete until I found the Jesus link.

As it turns out, the Jesus link had been right in front of my nose the whole time:

  • In scripture  (Hebrews 5: 7-10)
  • In the First Eucharistic Prayer during the Catholic mass (http://catholic-resources.org/ChurchDocs/EP1-4.htm)
  • In the ordination of the Catholic priesthood and by extension, all who are baptized.  http://catholicexchange.com/the-order-of-melchizedek

There it was, right in front of my eyes.  Jesus was a priest according to the Order of Melchizedek.  Catholic priests are ordained into this order.  This is the priesthood activated within all believers through their baptism (and in my mind, by extension, anyone who might consider Jesus to be their teacher whether they are baptized or not.)

The magic I had longed for, searched for, and hungered for my whole life had been there all along in my teacher Jesus and within the Catholic Church in which I was raised.  The problem was, (and still is) that women and those called to intimate partnership through marriage are barred from this magic.

Then there is the problem of the secrets.  In the Catholic Church, all we see is the external Christian magic – the consecration of the bread and wine, the pouring of water in baptism, the laying on of hands in confirmation, etc.  In fact, the external magic may be all that remains in the Christian magic of the Catholic Church. My task has been to exhume the magic that I believe has been buried since the day that Christianity sold itself out to the patriarchy. When Christianity became a monarchy instead of the egalitarian and democratic experience that Jesus modeled (though remember, Jesus wasn’t a Christian he was a Jew), everything of the esoteric (and by association, the feminine) was set aside, and later condemned as evil.

Now, there may be a good reason for hiding away the magic.

First, there are the practical reasons:

  • Magic has power.  Psycho-spiritual maturity is required in those performing magic, along with a strong system of accountability.  Power is a great temptation and one needs to be strong enough to resist this temptation.
  • REAL magic is for one purpose and one purpose only – Union with God.  In this union, we uncover and discover our truth.  Not all are ready for the knowledge of and consequences of their truth.

Then there is the political reason:

  • Again, magic is power.  REAL magic – the kind that leads us into Union with the Divine creates and supports a self-actualized and empowered population of women and men who know who they are, what their gifts are and how they are called to use them.  And they are not afraid to use them.  Institutions built on fear, power and control fear this kind of REAL power, because it cannot be manipulated and controlled. No wonder the Cathars were massacred.

My task has been to remember these ancient practices of Christian Magic that I believe were part of Jesus’ training through his experiences in Egypt, with the mystical orders of Judaism, and during his time in India among the great Hindu masters.  The reason Jesus was acknowledged as a priest in the Order of Melchizedek, is because these practices, like Jesus’ teachings, are not limited to one single religious belief system or practice, but are indeed, Universal.

Lauri Ann Lumby has researched the hidden tradition of Christian Magic and now makes it available through the Order of Melchizedek Training Program.  Learn more by clicking on the image below:

order of melchizedek, ritual, magic, shamanism, kabbalah,

Posted in guilt, shame, Spiritual Direction

Christianity and Guilt

Exploring the role of guilt in the formation of the Christian religion

Since the time of its inception, Christianity has been a religion rife with conflict. One such conflict is the 2000 year old battle between the two sides of the Christian message – that which is based in fear and the other which is rooted in love.  Understanding the experiences out of which Christianity emerged, one has to wonder, is the religion of Christianity merely an expression of the unresolved guilt and shame experienced by the disciples who denied and abandoned Jesus at his greatest hour of need? When we look at the long dalliance between Christianity and guilt, one has to wonder.

Christianity and guilt, Christianity and shame, guilt, shame,

What follows is a “fictional” account of what may have happened:

Once upon a time, there was a bunch of fishermen who met this dude named Jesus. They thought this Jesus was pretty cool.  First he taught them a better way to fish, and then he showed them how to walk on water.  After the theatrics he taught them how to love. These fishermen thought Jesus was the next best thing after leavened bread – something that was a luxury for fishermen – because which one among them had time to wait for bread to rise?

Things were really cool with this Jesus guy. They got to travel.  Meet new people.  Hear amazing stories.  They got invited into the homes of those they never thought they’d be able to dine with.  They saw amazing things happen and miracles performed.  The sick were healed.  The blind were able to see.  And Jesus spoke in a way that made their heart feel warm and their soul feel at peace.

But then one day, people started to become angry over Jesus’ words. Angry words were exchanged and the next thing the fishermen knew, their buddy Jesus was hauled off to prison and brought before the Roman governor where he was tried for treason.  Treason?  (They also heard words like blasphemy….and other scary words).  Jesus was just trying to teach people how to love.  The fishermen were surprised, but mostly they were afraid.  If people came to know that Jesus was their friend, would they be imprisoned and tried too?  So they hid.

And they kept hiding. They heard that Jesus’ trial didn’t go well and that he had been sentenced to death.  Now they were really afraid.  So they kept hiding.  They hid all the while the women knocked on their door saying, “Come out.  Come with us.  We need to support our friend.  We need to be with him.  We need to offer our love and support.”  But the women’s pleas could not break through the fishermen’s fears.  So they continued to hide.

They hid after the women came and told them Jesus had been crucified and that he had died. They hid after the women came to tell them Jesus had been buried.  And they continued to hide until three days later, on the morning after the Sabbath when Mary Magdalene (Jesus’ favorite) knocked on the door and proclaimed that Jesus lived.  But even then, they only opened the door a crack, and then swiftly slammed it in Mary’s face.  “She must have lost her mind.  Jesus cannot have survived a crucifixion.  And ‘he has risen?’  What does that even mean?”

But then, Jesus himself showed up. He walked right through the closed and bolted door and showed them.  “See.  I have not died so as never to be seen or known again.  I am now with you, always, along with the Spirit who is with and in me.” Only then did the fishermen open the door to Mary Magdalene who stood there tapping her feet with her arms across her chest…saying with her eyes, “I told you so!” For a brief moment, the disciples hung their head in shame – first because they had not listened to the Magdalene, the one Jesus favored above them all; and secondly, because they had abandoned their friend at the time of his greatest need.  But just as quickly as the guilt and shame surfaced, they began to make their excuses.

Jesus listened to their bargaining and then began to remind them of all he had taught them about peace and love and how they could experience the kingdom of God right here in the midst of the human experience. Jesus continued to teach them, empowering them with the light of his Spirit so they might go forth and share the good news he had proclaimed:  “Turn your gaze only toward the Divine within, for here is where you will find the kingdom of God.”  (While the disciples were being tutored for the umpteenth time, Mary Magdalene and the other women were already about their mission of teaching people how to love.) Then Jesus told the disciples, “I must ascend,” and took off for good.  Now the disciples were on their own, so they did what Jesus told them to do, “go out and preach the good news.”

This would have been all fine and good except that the male disciples could not let go of that sense of guilt and shame over having abandoned their friend. The wound of shame festered and soon, they could only remember Jesus’ message through the lens of their unhealed shame.  As a result, they went forth preaching “the good news,” but soon it took on a new flavor.  This message was not the pure message of love Jesus had proclaimed and which Mary and the other women continued to share in the world.  Instead, the message became tainted by shame.  Instead of the overwhelmingly uplifting message of unconditional love, the love of God became conditional and wrapped in fear.  God was no longer the prodigal father of which Jesus spoke; instead he became a wrathful God making impossible demands on his children with the overarching and overwhelming threat of eternal punishment in a place called hell.  The cause of Jesus’ death became the sin of humanity.  Judas was Jesus’ betrayer and it was the Jews who killed him.  Women and sexual intercourse became the cause of original sin.  As the wound of shame continued to fester, the message of love became eclipsed to the point where it no longer remained.

But, while the disciples who retained the wound of shame preached a message tainted with fear, those who had no shame, because they had stood by the side of their beloved teacher and friend – Mary Magdalene, Mother Mary, Lazarus, Joseph of Arimathea, Martha, the other Marys, the youngest disciple (and Jesus’ own brother) John, and a few others taught a message of love. They went out into the world doing what Jesus taught them to do.  They began with showing people how to connect with the Divine within.  Then they supported them in coming to know that this connection – which felt like peace, love, contentment and joy – was their original nature and what Jesus called “the kingdom of God.”  Then they taught them how to connect with their own unique gifts and to hear the voice of the Divine which led them to their truth and to the purpose of their life path.  They gathered in community for meditation, contemplation and prayer.  They broke bread together and shared all things in common for the sake of the common good.  They went out into the world teaching, healing, supporting and empowering people – showing them how to be free by teaching them how to love.  In this expression, God was not to be feared but was instead, the source of unconditional and unmerited love. In this they came to know that there was indeed no separation – only love – and they lived in peace and walked softly upon the earth while diligently praying that their brothers and sisters might find healing and self-forgiveness for the guilt and shame they have been harboring for the past 2000 years.

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS provides support for your unhealed wounds of guilt and shame, including those experienced through institutional religion. She provides this support through one-on-one spiritual direction/counseling, her writing and online courses.  You may contact Lauri directly at lauri@authenticfreedomacademy.com.